A woman who said she was late for work stole an ambulance and struck another car before she was stopped, according to authorities.

"I couldn't believe it," said Eduardo Fabregas, who was left by the road Monday with two other paramedics and a patient who had complained of respiratory problems."The truck was rolling right away from us," Fabregas said, "I thought it was a joke, I thought it was some other fireman pulling a joke on us, taking it around the corner or something."

The Miami Fire Department ambulance was parked with its motor running when 32-year-old Aurelia Small jumped in and took off, police said. She sideswiped a station wagon before she was forced off the road by police about 30 blocks away.